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In this webinar, we discuss how lawyers, prosecutors and judges argue that a financial transaction is a form of terrorism financing, and these questions and discuss the complexity of prosecuting terrorism financing and the social and political consequences of these court cases. This webinar is the final event in the series “FOLLOW: Money as Security Data: Surveillance, Intelligence, Evidence.”

Event details of Twenty years after 9/11: Prosecuting terrorist financing and the production of evidence
Date 24 September 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00

Two decades into the War on Terror, EU member states are under pressure to realize criminal investigations and court convictions for the financing of terrorism. New EU anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing Directives oblige countries to convict material support for terrorist groups and individuals. However, prosecutions and trials of terrorism financing are complex and bring up fundamental questions of law in a democratic society.  For example, under most counter-terrorism regulations in European countries, sending money to foreign fighters in Syria or Iraq is considered a form of material support to terrorist organizations, even in the absence of an active terrorist ideology. The Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK have all witnessed terrorism financing court cases where the line between financing terrorism and humanitarian aid or care is far from obvious. We have seen cases where parents claimed to have sent the money out of love and concern, and not motivated by terrorist intentions, yet they were still found guilty. Indeed, what happens when an active terrorist intent is not necessary to be prosecuted for terrorism financing? What is the dividing line between legitimate aid and the financing of terrorist groups? To what extent does the court need to prove intent to support terrorism? And what happens when the court lacks access to evidence about what happened to the monies in conflict zones? In this webinar, we discuss how lawyers, prosecutors and judges argue that a financial transaction is a form of terrorism financing, and these questions and discuss the complexity of prosecuting terrorism financing and the social and political consequences of these court cases. This webinar is the final event in the series “FOLLOW: Money as Security Data: Surveillance, Intelligence, Evidence.”

Schedule:

16:00 Opening by chair Marieke de Goede, professor of politics at University of Amsterdam

16:10 mr Tamara Buruma, Lawyer at Prakken D’Oliveira

16:20 Tasniem Anwar, PhD researcher at University of Amsterdam

16:30  dr. Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi, Lecturer at University of Manchester  

16:45-17:00 Q&A

About the speakers

Marieke de Goede is Professor of Politics, with a focus on 'Europe in a Global Order,' at the Department of Politics of the University of Amsterdam. De Goede’s research focuses on counter-terrorism and security practices in Europe, with a specific attention to the role of financial data. She currently holds a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) with the theme: FOLLOW: Following the Money from Transaction to Trial (www.projectfollow.org). This project follows the trajectory of suspicious financial transactions across private and public spheres. It studies the ‘chain of translation’ whereby a transaction is rendered from bank registration to suspicious transaction to court evidence.

Tamara Buruma is a criminal defense lawyer and partner at Prakken d’Oliveira Human Rights Lawyers. She is specialized in counter-terrorism law, international criminal law, and economic sanction regimes. She has represented various clients charged with terrorism offences, and recently successfully handled a landmark case on terrorism financing and humanitarian aid. Mr. Buruma furthermore  represents clients in front of the Court of Cassation (Supreme Court), as well as the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.

Tasniem Anwar  is  a PhD candidate in the Political Science department of the University of Amsterdam. Her dissertation is part of project FOLLOW: Following the Money from Transaction to Trial, funded by the European Research Council. The dissertation seeks to examine the production of legal knowledge around the investigation and prosecution of terrorism financing. By observing daily practices in courts, analysing documents, and conducting interviews with legal practitioners, the dissertation investigates the intersections between legal and security practices.

Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi is Lecturer in International Law at the University of Manchester, an Associate Fellow at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, a Research Fellow at ICCT and the Managing Editor of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. She is a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War. Rebecca holds a PhD from the European University Institute and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Her work reflects on counterterrorism and, more precisely, on our evolving legal and policy capacity to deal with security threats, where new forms of non-state transnational risk, counter-risk strategy and technology are in play. Her research interests and expertise are in public international law, international humanitarian law, human rights law and (international and European) criminal law, which altogether allow to explore counterterrorism policies in a comprehensive manner.